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How to light a video that showcases LED lights?

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Drew Keo
How to light a video that showcases LED lights?
on Nov 7, 2011 at 2:13:08 pm

Hi Guys,

I produce low budget corporate videos and a client of mine is a manufacturer of residential LED lights and they are producing a series a videos to showcase some of their new products. My question is two-fold.

First, my lighting equipment is a tungsten lowel kit consisting of an omni, tota and pro. Am I crazy to light a video showcasing LED lights with a tungsten kit? If I were to do so, how do I go about it so that the color temperatures don't clash?

Second, if I were to recommend that the client invest in a light kit for this series, what type of lights should I recommend. I suppose LED's would be an obvious choice, but my guess is they will be extremely expensive. If you have ANY advice, please share.

You guys are amazing and I don't think I would still have a job without you! Thanks as always.


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Mark Suszko
Re: How to light a video that showcases LED lights?
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:27:40 pm

Well, you're going to have to gel the Lowels, but offhand I can't say exactly with what gels, not knowing the color temps you're working with or the CRI of the lights.

In a general sense, what I would say is LED lighting is famous for not having as "pleasant" a color balance as halogen, they will seem too green or blue by comparison. So, just to get into the ballpark, I might try gelling the tungstens to match a flourescent or daylight source, then the LED's (I think) will look a little warmer.

An old trick for shooting in offices and grocery stores and the like is to bring empty flouro fixtures and "borrow" identical bulbs to what's overhead, from the stock of replacement tubes the janitor keeps in a closet somewhere at the location. Now all the light is the same, you can white balance effectvely. I imagine if you can borrow enough of the fixtures you're shooting, you could do the same. It might even add a marketing kick to be able to add a lower third graphic that says " All images you see are lit with our actual product".


Can you describe the scenes you will be shooting in detail? Posting stills of the set or even just sketches would help.


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Drew Keo
Re: How to light a video that showcases LED lights?
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:15:30 pm

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the response. Right now we are imagining the lights being displayed on a table and the person on screen would be pointing to specific lights that are displayed. The lights would not likely be in the fixtures. So that format is more like a trade-show or QVC type commercial.

Thanks


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Mark Suszko
Re: How to light a video that showcases LED lights?
on Nov 8, 2011 at 5:45:40 pm

That sounds like the ugliest way to do it. Like an auto parts catalog.

If it was me, I might get one nice, but not-too-distracting fixture, set it up over a small tabletop tableau of common objects, with a neutral gray mottled backdrop, then I'd shoot a series of locked-off shots where the only thing changing in the picture is the bulb. This gives the audience a way to see the differences of quality in each bulb, and make direct comparisons, when you do a wipe from one scene version to another.

Pick objects with a variety of colors and textures, and maybe some small art cards with text on them, something to show how much glare the bulbs make or don't make.

In the corner of the composition, inset a box with a detail picture of the unlit bulb and the name/number. That unlit bulb shot could be put on a rotating column or something, to jazz it up. Lazy susans are dirt cheap at the hardware store or K-mart.

Just because it is low budget doesn't mean it has to *look* like it.


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